Based in Leeds with the sole intention of combining a 2000’s-esque sound of Pop Punk and new-age emo, This Time Last Year have channelled their energy in to their latest EP, Count Yourself Lucky. Releasing across platforms on Friday the 7th of July, Count Yourself Lucky is an interestingly immersive mixture of songs showcasing the variable creativity that TTLY possess, and are willing to explore. Maybe they haven’t quite hit the 2000’s sound of pop punk, but they’ve mixed the old-school with the new; to simply summarise, Count Yourself Lucky is the love-child between Rancid and Real Friends. Two completely different genre’s that probably shouldn’t work… but totally do. The quartet have refused to conform to the generic genre of pop punk and stayed true to their influences and combining all styles together.
The EP is a total of five full songs and an intro. The intro that opens the EP is rather vague and leaves you rather unprepared for the upcoming songs. It does, however, highlight the rhythm of the band with the looped sound of guitar and unclear vocals on top. In fact, it’s a longer intro to the second song on the album titled Split Cell, instead of a standalone introduction to the EP. As soon as the intro ends and Split Cell begins, you hear the change of chord and introduced to the talent that the band has to offer. The vocals offer the band that unique punk-esque style, and truly shines through the change of composition for the chorus. The style the band have advertised themselves as isn’t something new to the scene, with bands aiming to create a more emotional side to the pop punk environment. What is new is the way the band have achieved emotion through their lyrics without portraying a sort of pity-party where they depict sympathy. The attitude of the music behind the words gives it that positivity and slight optimism that gets you up and moving rather than wallowing in your own sadness. It’s giving listeners the chance to really use this music in an everyday situation, rather than for certain moods.
(Photos courtesy of Lexi Powell Photography)
The Last Straw is the song that really brings out that old-school feel. It’s the most punk feeling song on the EP, and offers that angst that all our inner anarchists possess. The band no doubt show clear signs of well-rehearsed and coordinated talent, but in the best way, The Last Straw feels disorganised. The quartet’s energy transmits through their instruments, confirming that they have so much more to give. A Thing Or Two reels the chaos back in and slows the EP right down. It’s a strong anthem for the EP, and is the best song to show the bands true chemistry and synchronisation. There’s not one instrument or member that takes the spotlight, but instead focuses on everything they have. Split Cell, whether intentionally or not cynosures on the vocals and guitars while second to last song, Post showcases the affect that the drums have on the overall sound, with precision rhythm throughout offering the attitude that it strives for.
The EP can’t be specifically rounded up for individual fans of certain genres. There are copious amounts of bands that TTLY can appeal to, with last song 742 (cleverly named after The Simpsons residence, 742 Evergreen Terrace) feeling like a mixture of New Found Glory at the start and slowly combines similar sounds such as Modern Baseball and Boston Manor.
Overall, the Count Yourself Lucky EP is such a solid starting point for the guys of This Time Last Year in terms of their creativity and chemistry. The band show a lot of promise with this being their first EP, excitingly pulling interest from all different kinds of places, and on their way to making their own personal mark into the massive Leeds, and even unsigned UK scene. I mean, every band has to start somewhere, and This Time Last Year has given themselves an interesting and evoking starting point. It’s worth following and staying up to date on their progression and endeavours, because they’re definitely going somewhere, even if they’re not entirely sure where.
Visit the official This Time Last Year site here and check out their Facebook & Instagram for updates.